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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Starred Review. Grade 6–9—Savvy Christopher and her older sister, Callie, each have their own "one thing," and when they move from Arizona to Rhode Island, that's what they rely on to help them adjust. Savvy quickly shows her stuff when, not yet in high school, she is accepted on the elite 18-and-under basketball team. Callie's passion is cheerleading, but stress has caused her to gain weight, and she is devastated to find that she no longer qualifies to be one of the fliers on the squad at her new school. She goes on a strict exercise and diet regime, and Savvy, realizing how quickly her sister is losing weight, brings it to the attention of their parents. They put a stop to Callie's use of over-the-counter diet aids, which does nothing to improve the already strained relationship between the sisters. In October, one of Savvy's basketball games is interrupted by a detective who has been alerted to a bag of steroids in her locker. She insists that they are not her pills, but the fact that she has been on prednisone for a bad case of poison ivy does not help her case. Savvy and her coach are temporarily suspended, and Savvy finds that even close friends regard her innocence with some doubt. As with Mad Cat (HarperCollins, 2005), Mackel has turned a tough subject in the world of teen competitive sports into a highly readable blend of intense action, interfamily relationships, and intrigue. Readers will come away with a better understanding of the controversy surrounding steroid use, and with an appreciation for a talented voice in young adult literature.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Speak (June 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142415391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142415399
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces

 

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